At first, kids learn to read single-syllable words. Once they’ve mastered these word types, they move on to learn the ing inflectional ending. Janice was a 3rd grader that could not read ing inflectional ending words like dining, tapping or sailing. As a result, she was stuck on low level books, and her reading skills did not progress. At school, the reading curriculum did not introduce ing words in an explicit way. Thus, her reading struggles continued.
Many students are like Janice and simply will not learn to read ing inflectional ending words without a clear introduction. The ing inflectional ending may present some new challenges. The student will have to analyze the word to identify the correct pronunciation of the first vowel. For example, what makes the i in hiding long and the i in tipping short? In this post, I’ll outline some strategies to help you teach the ing inflectional ending so your student can read words like hiding, petting and speaking.
What does the ing inflectional ending say?
Inflectional ending ing says /ing/ as in making, meeting, and setting. The sound /ing/ is straightforward. However, students often struggle with ing inflectional ending words, because determining the sound of the first vowel can be tricky.
ing Inflectional Ending with Short Vowels
Rule: If there are 2 consonants in the middle, the first vowel is short.
Ex. hopping vs. hoping -Give your student contrasting words like these to help her understand the rule. The first word “hopping” has 2 consonants in the middle (between the vowels), therefore the first vowel is short. The second word “hoping” has only 1 consonant between the vowels, thus the first vowel is long.
Teach your student the above rule. This means that when your student spells you must teach her to ADD a consonant to make short vowel inflectional ending ing words. For example, pet becomes petting, hop becomes hopping and wag becomes wagging. Notice that you must add a consonant.
When your student reads, teach her to analyze the number of consonants in the middle of the word. How many are there? 1, 2 or 3? The answer determines the sound of the first vowel. If there are 2 (or more) consonants in the middle of the word, the first vowel is short. Remember that short vowels are:
a_ as in hat
i_ as in lit
o_ as in hop
u_ as in cup
e_ as in met
Here are some sample short vowel inflectional ending ing words: betting, wagging, tapping, sipping, hugging, running, sitting, getting, lugging, digging, sagging, tagging, yapping, humming, trotting, dragging, clapping, trimming, ripping, flopping, bugging, popping, budding, buzzing, stemming, dimming, jogging, crossing, stopping, stuffing, mending… there’s so many more!
ing Inflectional Ending with Silent e Words
Rule: If there’s 1 consonant in the middle, the first vowel is long.
Ex. hopping vs. hoping– You can use the same words as above, because they demonstrate the same concept. If you want to use a different example you can use hitting vs. hiding, dotting vs. doting, slipping vs. sliding, trimming vs. timing… etc. Each of these word sets demonstrates that the number of vowels in the middle determines the sound of the first vowel. Write contrasting words like these in front of your student. Show her the rule.
Teach your student to analyze the number of vowels in the middle when she reads ing inflectional ending words. Again, if there’s 2 consonants in the middle (between the vowels), the first vowel is short. If there’s 1 consonant in the middle, the first vowel is long. What are long vowels? Long vowels say their name as in words like: saving, timing, hoping, using…etc.
When your student spells silent e inflectional ending ing words, teach her to drop the e. For example, save becomes saving, file becomes filing, shine becomes shining… etc.
Some ing silent e words include: saving, hoping, gliding, filing, tiring, mining, blaming, skating, scaling, trading, closing, smoking, placing, rating, waving, using, driving, grading…etc.
ing Inflectional Ending with Vowel Patterns
Rule: Say the vowel pattern.
Ex. speaking, sailing, roasting, blooming…etc. Each of these words includes a vowel pattern. For example, speaking has the /ea/ pattern, sailing has the /ai/ pattern, roasting has the /oa/ pattern and blooming has the /oo/ pattern.
Teach your student to read and spell the vowel pattern when spelling ing inflectional ending words.
Some ing words with vowel patterns include: meeting, keeping, speaking, fainting, staying, painting, glowing, showing, floating, zooming, scooping, blooming, moaning, spraying… etc.
When do students learn the ing inflectional ending?
In kindergarten, kids usually learn ing words like: ring, sing, king…etc. These single-syllable words are not inflectional endings. The student learns this /ing/ sound (that is not an inflectional ending) in Kindergarten around the same time she learns other consonant digraph sounds like: sh, th, ch, _tch…etc.
Around first grade, the student learns the inflectional ending ing. Typically, reading curricula will introduce quite a lot of other phonics sounds before introducing the student to ing inflectional endings. However, there is some variation on when children learn the ing inflectional ending. As long as your student is learning phonics sounds explicitly and systematically, she should be making good progress.
Reading Elephant printable phonics books introduce phonics sounds in the following order. We plan on releasing the ing inflectional endings series 16 this upcoming year.
Sets 1-5- Short Vowels
a_ as in hat (use apple as a mnemonic)
i_ as in lit (use igloo as a mnemonic)
o_ as in hop (use ostrich as a mnemonic)
u_ as in cup (use up as a mnemonic)
e_ as in met (use elephant as a mnemonic)
Set 6- Consonant Digraphs
sh as in ship
th as in math
th as in then
ch as in chop
_tch as in match
_ck as in back
_ng as in long
_ing as in king
_ang as in sang
wh_ as in when
Set 7- Consonant Blends
Consonant blends- Consonant blends are 2 or more letter sounds in a row. Do not teach students to memorize blends. Teach them to decode blends sound-by-sound. Some samples include: fl as in flop, br as in brim and cl as in click. There are two exceptions. Teach kids to memorize tr as in truck and dr as in drop, as these two have a sound change.
Set 8- Silent e
a_e as in make
e_e as in Pete
i_e as in kite
o_e as in hope
u_e as in use
u_e as in duke
Set 9- Long Vowels
ee as in tree
ea as in seal
Set 10- Long Vowels
ai as in rain
_ay as in bay
Set 11- Long Vowels
oa as in boat
ow as in glow
Set 12- Long Vowels
igh as in light
Set 13- Long Vowels
_____y as in funny
_y as in my
Set 14- oo/ew
oo as in moon
oo as in look
ew as in new
Set 15- r-sounds
ar as in dark
er as in clerk
ir as in bird
ur as in turn
or as in fork
Set 16- inflectional ending ing
ing as in tipping (first vowel is short)
ing as in timing (first vowel is long)
Vowel patterns with ing
After kids learn the ing inflectional ending, they may be ready for more sophisticated books.
Kids learn to read with phonics books, but after a certain point, kids are ready for harder text. If your student has mastered inflectional endings, you might want to test out some harder books with her. Just make she reads with 92% accuracy or above.
Reading Elephant offers printable phonics books that help kids learn to read.